Remove Hurdles to Cancer Care

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COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the significant barriers to affordable health care that cancer patients have long faced. While relief packages and proposals to date have worked to address affordability of COVID-specific testing and treatment, policymakers must also tackle hurdles that cancer patients face like removing the red tape of prior authorization and step therapy, reducing out-of-pocket costs, and ensuring cost-sharing assistance directly benefits patients. There has been a great deal of research and investment in effective therapies that allow people fighting cancer to survive and live longer. Cancer patients need Congress to act quickly to remove hurdles to quality care.

56% of cancer patients and survivors are worried about being able to afford their treatment

Latest Updates

January 8, 2021
Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As lawmakers dive into the new year, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) asks that legislators support legislation that will ease the cancer burden in Illinois. Long after this pandemic passes, people deserve to live full, healthy lives. ACS CAN is advocating for: Prescription

December 18, 2020
National

The U.S. Senate passed legislation tonight aimed at improving access to clinical trials for communities of color and decreasing health disparities.

Cancer Candor Blog
October 22, 2020

The true costs of cancer are heavy, they are deep, and they are ultimately unaffordable for many, a challenge further exacerbated by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic and spotlighted by the upcoming Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act.

September 17, 2020
Montana

Cancer patients, survivors and volunteer advocates from across Montana met virtually Thursday with U.S. Senate candidate Gov. Steve Bullock for a nonpartisan discussion on policies and issues that are critical to fighting cancer. The meeting was part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Cancer Votes campaign—the nation’s leading voter education program informing the public and candidates about the actions lawmakers should take to make fighting cancer a national priority.

Remove Hurdles to Cancer Care Resources

Cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to spikes in their health care costs because many expensive diagnostic tests and treatments are scheduled within a short period of time, so cancer patients spend their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum quickly. These costs can be difficult to manage over the course of a year, and most monthly budgets simply can’t afford these large bills. 

Most patients experience spikes in their health care costs around the time of a cancer diagnosis as they pay their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. For patients on high deductible plans, this spike can mean bills due for several thousands of dollars within one month.

The U.S. spent approximately $183 billion on cancer-related health care in 2015. This represents a signification portion of the total health care spending in the U.S. And it is expected to keep growing. By 2030 cancer-related health care spending is expected to reach nearly $246 billion.